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Old 06-03-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Melbourne area
579 posts, read 1,057,581 times
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We usually try to work in a side trip somewhere in the interminable interstate drive from Florida to Canada, and this time we're looking at driving through some of the ES areas. We will probably be starting from the vicinity of Williamsburg, Va. So far as I can tell just from looking at a map, the primary options are:

1. Meander through the tidewater, cross into Maryland on 301, make our way up to Annapolis, cross to the ES there. (Is this feasible or is 301 part of the D.C. suburban traffic mess?)

2. Go down to the Hampton Roads area, get on 13 and take the bridge-tunnel across, and make our way up into Maryland, taking the bay side on 13/50 and offshoots thereof.

3. Same as #2 but sticking near the coast once in Maryland, which would take us up into Delaware.

Both #2 and #3, we'd eventually come out near Wilmington and continue north.

As you can see, we just want to check out areas we've never been while avoiding major-metro traffic if we can. More likely than not, it will be a weekday, either a Thursday or Friday. But not the July 4 weekend! And I think the missus has a preference for one of the first two options; we live near the ocean, but she's never been around the Chesapeake Bay. I don't know which side is more scenic, though.

Are we on the right track? If we're coming up the bay one side or the other, what shouldn't we miss? Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,090 posts, read 18,624,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExIslander View Post
And I think the missus has a preference for one of the first two options; we live near the ocean, but she's never been around the Chesapeake Bay. I don't know which side is more scenic, though.

Are we on the right track? If we're coming up the bay one side or the other, what shouldn't we miss? Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.
Personally, I think the #1 option is more scenic. I am not a fan of the farm country in the middle of the eastern shore that 13/50 would be.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,765,275 times
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I'm more familiar with #1; but I've done #2, heading in the opposite direction. I like farmland so I thought #2 was ok; however, I'm not a fan of the bridge/tunnel so I'd probably go with #1. Helpful, right? Lol.

I would definitely try to do this on a Thursday as opposed to Friday.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:54 AM
 
Location: East Coast
865 posts, read 2,245,909 times
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301 is usually a much better alternative to I-95, but there are still a lot of traffic lights, and it's not really a scenic drive. I'd vote for option #2, and stop and check out Easton and St. Michael's in Maryland.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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I would say it all depends on whether you want to see Annapolis.

Option 1 would take you past Annapolis but you'd miss out on a good bit of the Eastern Shore bay region if you continue on 301 towards Wilmington. Coming up 301 towards Annapolis and crossing the bay bridge could have the potential to be pretty congested. Especially on a Friday. It's also not going to be very scenic. Though Annapolis is a pretty town everything along 301 up towards Annapolis is general suburbia USA.
If you wanted to see Annapolis and a taste of the eastern shore you could always take 50 south after getting off of Kent Island and follow it down towards Easton and St. Michaels to check out a couple nice eastern Shore bay towns and then get back on 50 north again. Instead of taking 301 towards Wilmington go on 404, just above Easton, and head towards Lewes, DE and take the ferry across the DE bay to NJ.

Option 2 would cover a lot more of the bay region, especially if you'd get off 13 and head towards Cambridge, Easton and St. Michaels. There are also a couple detours you can take along that route if you have the time. That would be the more scenic and rural route. If you had some extra time after stopping by St. Michaels you could always cut back across the eastern shore Via 404 above Easton and take the ferry at Lewes, DE.

Option 3 would possibly take you through the resorts such as Ocean City in MD and the DE beaches. That route would take take you right to the Lewes/cape May ferry.

If I were taking that trip and wanted to take in as much scenery as possible for that region and had a little extra time I would cross the Bay bridge Tunnel at VA beach and follow up towards Easton and St. Michaels further up the bay. Then I'd take 404 over to Rehobeth/Lewes and hop on the ferry and check out Cape May in NJ before heading north.

I'm just throwing the ferry in as a possible option because overall, though I love this region, once you've hit DE on 13 towards Wilmington you would be on the 4th state of the same scenery if coming up the coast. Easton/St. Michaels on the bay and assorted scenic byways you may wish to take as mentioned before will allow you to take in the Chesapeake and related scenery in addition to the small towns and corn/bean fields that make up the region. But once your into DE on 13 or following 301 through the upper shore in MD there isn't too much to see. If passing through, fine, but there is more to see if you have the time.

Of course coming up from FL going to canada you may want to do as few detours as possible as you'll be driving enough.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Melbourne area
579 posts, read 1,057,581 times
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Thanks, everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post
I would say it all depends on whether you want to see Annapolis.

Option 1 would take you past Annapolis but you'd miss out on a good bit of the Eastern Shore bay region if you continue on 301 towards Wilmington. Coming up 301 towards Annapolis and crossing the bay bridge could have the potential to be pretty congested. Especially on a Friday. It's also not going to be very scenic. Though Annapolis is a pretty town everything along 301 up towards Annapolis is general suburbia USA. If you wanted to see Annapolis and a taste of the eastern shore you could always take 50 south after getting off of Kent Island and follow it down towards Easton and St. Michaels to check out a couple nice eastern Shore bay towns and then get back on 50 north again. Instead of taking 301 towards Wilmington go on 404, just above Easton, and head towards Lewes, DE and take the ferry across the DE bay to NJ.
After going over some of the options with the missus, we're leaning toward option 1, she does want to see Annapolis and slow down and wander some around the bay. She likes the idea of Easton/St. Michaels and we might not go back to 301 right away when starting north. We're cool with alternate routes if it makes the trip better without slowing us down too much.

Quote:
Of course coming up from FL going to canada you may want to do as few detours as possible as you'll be driving enough.
We do love our detours, but yes, there are limits, especially since all this starts after a side trip to Williamsburg. I think we'll have to set aside the ferry idea for another time.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
2,250 posts, read 2,724,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExIslander View Post
After going over some of the options with the missus, we're leaning toward option 1, she does want to see Annapolis and slow down and wander some around the bay. She likes the idea of Easton/St. Michaels and we might not go back to 301 right away when starting north. We're cool with alternate routes if it makes the trip better without slowing us down too much.
That would be the most direct route coming from Williamsburg. Easton/St. Michaels isn't too far out of the way (half hourish) down 50 from the 50/301 split to get a good feel of the eastern shore and Delmarva to add to Annapolis and the bridge for a good look at the Chesapeake region.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:19 PM
 
274 posts, read 539,773 times
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If you stop in Easton, definitely eat at Out of the Fire-Best restaurant ever! If you go to St. Michael's ( a must visit town--so quaint and beautiful ) try working in an afternoon tea at the Inn at Perry Cabin--views of the Miles River with sailboats everywhere, landscaped lawn to sit on and watch the passing boats while you sip your tea on your Adirondack chairs... and there's a spa there too. Chestertown is another beautiful little town once you're done in Annapolis.
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